Termites love Brisbane’s weather

As much as Queenslanders don’t like the rain, unfortunately termites do. Which isn’t great news for home owners and investors, considering some parts of Brisbane had their wettest June since 1967 according to the Bureau of Meteorology. In fact, Alderley recorded nearly four times the average June rainfall.

Combine that with the warmer than average days and nights we’ve been enjoying recently and you have the perfect termite breeding ground, which is often invisible to the eye.

Therefore, homeowners are advised to be extra cautious coming into Spring and at the very least, remove all timber from around the house that is in contact with soil, any dead trees or stumps and fix any leaking pipes or systems running near the house.

Whilst this is a great start to prevent a termite attack, it won’t do much if they have already made their way into the valuable house.

The only way to find this out before the repair bill enters the thousands of dollars is to engage a termite technician to conduct a thorough inspection using thermal imaging cameras etc.

If you’re lucky enough to get the all clear, but live in a risky area, the best protection you can provide your house is a chemical soil barrier which will offer long term prevention.

However, if termites are present, you will need to eradicate them first before definitely installing a chemical soil barrier at a later date.

If you have any questions or concerns or you would like to book a termite inspection, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Is your property smoke alarm compliant?

Are you a first time investor and not sure if your smoke alarms are compliant in your rental property?

Not to worry, we’re here to help. Currently, property owners are required to install smoke alarms in all domestic dwellings.

They must also abide by the following:

  • The smoke alarms must comply with Australian Standard 3786-1993 and be installed outside sleeping areas with one on each level of the dwelling
  • The smoke alarms must be replaced before the end of their service life (smoke alarms are required to have a recommended service life of at least 10 years under normal conditions of use)
  • All smoke alarms must be tested and cleaned and any flat or nearly flat batteries replaced within 30 days before the start or renewal of a tenancy.

However, during February 2016, the Queensland Government moved to mandate the installation of photoelectric, hard wired smoke alarms in all bedrooms, living areas and escape paths in every Queensland dwelling. This was in response to the 150 deaths caused by house fires since 2004 and in particular, the 2011 Slacks Creek fire which claimed 11 lives including eight children.

Once the new legislation is passed, landlords will have five years to implement the below at their investment properties:

  • All dwellings will have to install additional smoke alarms in every bedroom, between areas containing bedrooms, in any hallway servicing bedrooms and in any other storey of a residential dwelling.
  • All the smoke alarms will need to be interconnected and either hard-wired or powered by a 10-year lithium battery
  • All installed smoke alarms will need to meet minimum performance standards with photoelectric type smoke alarms acting as the performance baseline. Photoelectric smoke alarms detect visible particles of combustion and therefore react faster to smoldering fires.  They are also considered to be more reliable and less likely to produce false alarms, such as food burning during the cooking process.
  • If replacing an existing smoke alarm, homeowners will be required to purchase and install a photoelectric smoke alarm.

Click here for more information on smoke alarms or visit the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website.

When do you book a Building Inspection?

So you’re looking to sell your house – you have engaged an agent, booked the professional photos and approved a marketing plan. You’re good to go right? Wrong.

Did you know that vendors who conduct a building and pest inspection prior to listing have a 55 per cent less chance of their contract falling over at the final hurdle?

Building inspections can prove valuable for two reasons. One – they bring any problems to light prior to the home being listed so that they can rectified and two – eliminates buyers asking for price reductions to conduct any repair work.

Some of the most prevalent issues found on building inspection reports include:

Plumbing Issues

The plumbing system in any home is intricate, but it can also be the source of problematic results on a professional building inspection report. Outdated, deteriorating or incompatible piping aren’t unusual, as are waste line issues and faulty fixtures. Plumbing defects are among the most common problems discovered by professional building inspectors, and can affect the sale of a property if they’re not properly addressed.

Structural Defects

Either as a result of building defects, general wear and tear or plumbing issues, structural defects can and do happen. Lack of maintenance, undetected leaks due to poor roofing or plumbing and degradation as a result of poor ventilation are just a few of the factors which can contribute to structural defects. Environmental factors and initial building practices can also contribute to cumulative damage sustained to rafters, floor joists, foundation walls and other structural components – which is especially common in older homes.

Insufficient Ventilation

One of the most popular trends in modern home design, renovations and upgrades is energy efficiency. Saving money and reducing energy usage are admirable ideas, but as with anything in life, you can have too much of a good thing. Homes which have been aggressively sealed against heat loss can, in fact, be sealed tightly enough to inhibit air flow and ventilation. The result is a high level of moisture within the home, which can lead to mould growth, water damage and rot.

Drainage

The primary issue disclosed on many building inspection reports is related to the drainage. A thorough, professional building inspection covers more than just the primary structure. A building inspector will also evaluate crucial aspects of the surrounding property to determine the potential for water damage and cracked slabs due to grading and drainage deficiencies. While this is a relatively common problem reported during building inspections, it can also be one which is remedied with ease. In many cases, the repair or installation of new gutters, downpipes and re-grading around the structure can lessen the threat of water damage significantly.

Roof Damage

While a well-built roof does have a surprisingly long life expectancy, even the best roof will eventually begin to degrade. Professional building inspections can often highlight issues with roofing which may have gone previously undetected, as most homeowners will not discover roof damage until it’s severe enough to cause leaks or be immediately visible.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to hire a reputable and experienced professional building inspections company prior to listing your home to identify any common problems or issues that could be remedied prior to it affecting the sale or final asking price.

Book your pre-sale Building and Pest Inspection today.